Man who allegedly posed as Uber driver is charged with sexual assault and kidnapping

Prosecutors have charged a Los Angeles man with posing as an Uber driver in order to lure a woman into his car and sexually assault her, officials said Tuesday.

Dartanyun Lamar Smith, 39, was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, sodomy and assault on a peace officer, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

He faces punishment of up to life in prison if convicted.

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The victim was waiting for an Uber ride on April 3 when Smith arrived and said he was there to pick her up, according to the release. Smith is accused of driving the victim to the 1300 block of Ingraham Street in Westlake, where he allegedly assaulted her, prosecutors said.

The woman began screaming, and area residents called police. Officers at the scene tried to open the door of the sport utility vehicle, but Smith allegedly sped off in the direction of one of the officers.

The victim escaped as Smith attempted to flee, prosecutors said. Smith was arrested at his home in Vermont Square six days after the attack, according to LAPD records.

Smith was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, and prosecutors planned to ask that his bail be set at $3.1 million.

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